Fade To Black: Lin TV Dark, No TWC Retrans Deal

tvThe first of a series of retransmission consent negotiations has gone wrong--and much of this was forecast by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association recently.

LIN TV stations and Time Warner Cable systems could not agree on a deal in which LIN's 15 over-the-air stations would be carried on Time Warner systems. As a result, those outlets went off the air early Friday morning.

The markets include stations in Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Green Bay, Wis.; Indianapolis; Mobile, Ala.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Toledo, Ohio.

According to reports, Time Warner has said it should not have to pay for free over-the-air broadcast signals. LIN TV says it continues to look to negotiate with Time Warner.

Some messages on LIN station Web sites note that the company has successfully reached deals with other major cable, satellite and telecommunications companies "that recognize our fair market value-- but not, as yet, Time Warner."



One LIN station in Texas hinted that LIN was only asking for one cent per subscriber per day, which it noted was much less than many cable network programmers' cable operators pay.

At a recent congressional hearing, Kyle McSlarrow, president/CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, warned of the forthcoming testy retransmission consent negotiations between stations and cable operators. He believes they will escalate through the end of the year, complicating an already unclear TV landscape as it moves from analog to digital TV station signals come February.

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